Paul McElvaney was awarded the title of Entrepreneur of the Year for the successful growth of Learning Pool.
Sinead McLaughlin, chief executive of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, said: “AE Global is a worthy winner of the title of Business of the Year, just as Paul McElvaney of Learning Pool deserves to be Entrepreneur of the Year. These winners demonstrate the value of strong leadership, built on vision and determination. Good businesses thrive under strong and thoughtful leaders.
“These were the first ever North West Business Awards and they have been a great success, building on the prestigious Derry Business Awards. We have received entries of a very high quality and we want to place on record our thanks to all the entrants and sponsors, in particular to Bank of Ireland (UK) for its overall sponsorship of the event.”
Jim Roddy, chief executive of the City Centre Initiative, said: “We are very proud to be co-hosts of the most important business awards in Ireland’s North West region. Businesses from across the region have thrown their weight behind the event and we have received impressively high quality entries. The winners were well deserved. Our region is much the stronger for containing businesses of the quality of AE Global and Learning Pool.”
AE Global is located at Maydown in Derry and is a mechanical and electrical company. The company was founded as Allpipe Engineering in 1994 by Malachy Connor and Liam Gallagher, along with three colleagues who have since left the business. A £1m expansion plan last year led to a fast increase in turnover and employment – the company now has a workforce of 130. AE Global’s five year strategy is to break into new markets, including pharmaceutical and healthcare clients.
Paul McElvaney is chief executive and co-founder of Learning Pool, which was formed in 2006 in Derry and now employs 80 people. Private equity house Carlyle recently announced a major investment in the company to enable it to grow further. Learning Pool provides e-learning material, training over one million people per year. It was listed this year by the Sunday Times in its Best Small Companies to Work and by Deloitte as one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies.